11 July 2019 marked the conclusion of a specialist programme being held in Dublin aimed at taking young Irish based aquaculture businesses to the next level. The two-week Innovation Workshop was taking place in the Guinness Enterprise Centre and offering specific supports to start-ups including exposure to capital, mentoring and marketing expertise. The workshop is run by Hatch and supported by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
The 13 Irish based start-ups and projects selected to join the workshop are diverse; areas of focus include aquaculture analytics; use of pulsed light for underwater disinfection, and the integrated use of bogland for trout production.
Jim O’Toole, CEO BIM, met with founders of some of the businesses at the workshop and spoke about the critical need to drive innovation within the seafood sector in Ireland.
BIM is constantly looking at how best to balance the demands being placed on the sector by a growing population and growing appetite for seafood in a way that’s sustainable for future generations. This workshop and this approach is helping to fast-track innovation to help address this.
Participants at the workshop were learning how to develop business plans and how to manage their business from Irish based and International mentors. The intensive programme, aimed at strengthening the aquaculture innovation ecosystem in Ireland included mentors from International aquaculture spheres including Einar Wathne, ex global CEO of Cargill Aqua Nutrition and Chairperson of NCE Seafood Cluster in Bergen and Hatch Advisor; Alex Marsh, Cargill Aqua Nutrition and Jason Cleaversmith, General manager of Akva Scotland Group, Scotland.
Richard Donnelly, Development and Innovation Manager, BIM said:
This model helps to create a sense of urgency to the way we develop the aquaculture sector. This is the second Hatch workshop BIM has supported in less than 12 months. It’s been hugely encouraging to see the range of start-ups in this space.
Wayne Murphy, Founder and COO, Hatch said:
Ireland has a wonderful chance right now to play a strategic role in shaping the future of the global aquaculture industry by playing to its strengths, in terms of its ability to innovate and identify opportunity. This aquaculture workshop is focused on supporting those innovators by providing them with valuable insights into the industry, creating an entrepreneurial mindset and connecting them to a global network of people who can add real value to their potential.
All start-ups will continue to receive follow-up support from BIM and Hatch.
L-R: Martin Tighe of Univiv, Stephen O'Sullivan of Catchatrade, India Boyer of HATCH, Jim O’Toole, CEO BIM, Elena Piana of Seafresh Group, Kate Dempsey of Aqualicense & Irish Mussel Seed Co and John Fitzgerald of Impact 9